When a bank is looking to expand its footprint, the retail location it chooses can be critical to the success of the branch. However, as Matt Felton and Lance Dorn of MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services demonstrated at the Esri International User Conference in San Diego, the methodology banks are using to select branch locations has evolved with the help of geographic information system mapping.

GIS mapping takes multiple data points and layers them together to help business leaders discover patterns in their data that inform the decision-making process. Felton said GIS mapping ultimately helps banks answer questions they knew they had and ask questions they didn’t know they should be asking. “Separately, the data is informative. Together, the data is transformative,” Felton said.

Felton said there are numerous ways GIS mapping helps banks as they determine where and how to expand their retail-banking network.

  • Public deposit data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. tell the story of how other banks in the area are performing.
  • Demographic data for residents help banks determine what specific services they should provide at the location (merchant banking, wealth management, etc).
  • Data on real estate trends help banks target high-traffic areas and negotiate the right price for a lease or land purchase.
  • Home and work addresses for existing customers can help banks spot holes in their footprint and deliver more convenient services for those customers.

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